Politics OF Development – Democratization: Third Wave
January 24th, 2011
Samuel Huntington argues that there have been 3 waves of democracy. Transformations
of non-democracy’s to democracy’s.
1st wave – Was a long wave of democracy spanning from the 17th century to the 19th
century… France and Britain.
Cause of first wave was modernization, literacy, urbanization and the rise of the
2nd Wave – comes after ww2, one example is the imposition of democracy on Germany and
japan. Also the decolonization and formation of new countries like Ghana and Nigeria.
3rd Wave—begins in 1974 Portuguese dictatorship is overthrown by its military.
In 1974 there are only 40 demos in the world and are in industrialized countries.
Demo expands dramatically after 1974, Greece’s military rule collapses and the
Spanish general died in 1975.
1979-85 many militaries withdraw in favour of popular rule.
By the mid 1980’s the 3
rd wave spread to Asia, Korea’s military also withdraws.
Also changes in Africa..But WHY? -- The two superpowers were on the brink of a
nuclear exchange. This never happened. The cold war was fought in developing
countries called “proxy wars” us/ussr get involved in africas domestic disputes.
The proxy wars were fought in the developing world because these countries would
side with communism of democracy.
Prime example of such would be the wars in Angola – Angola gained independence
in 1974 after the Portuguese decolonized.
-In this example there were three groups of rebels The Angolan government
identified itself as socialist so it received aid from the soviets. Angola is also close to
South Africa. South Africa was aligned with western democracy and feared the
The South African government gets involved with Angolan rebel groups. The US
then sends support in the form of troops and weapons. This conflict would continue